In my podiatry clinic I am often asked “Why does diabetes affect my feet?”
In today’s blog, I’ll be answering this question.
How does diabetes affect my body?
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the way our body uses food for energy. In people with diabetes, the body becomes less able to absorb the sugar our body needs for energy. Instead, the sugar (or glucose) builds up in the blood and eventually has a big impact on the body’s health.
High blood sugars have many unpleasant side-effects. That’s why your doctor or practice nurse checks your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels regularly. Over time, serious damage may be caused to the kidneys, eyes, blood supply and nerves.
Why are my feet affected?
High sugar levels in the blood cause damage to the nerves and the blood vessels. The nerves and blood vessels in the foot are small and far away from body’s centre. This means that damage normally occurs first in the foot. Nerve damage in the feet may lead to strange sensations such as tingling or burning. You may also start to lose feeling in your feet. Because of this, people with diabetes are at risk of unknowingly injuring their feet.
Your blood vessels are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. The vessels in the foot are small and far away from the heart. This makes them susceptible to damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Damage to the blood vessels in the foot will mean that your body is less able to heal itself properly. This means that cuts, knocks and other injuries may take longer to heal if you have diabetes.
In my next post I’ll be going through some great advice for daily diabetic foot care. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to Contact Us with any questions you may have.
Have a great day,